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Category Archives: 1972

1972 Rookie Stars Red Sox – 1972 Topps #79

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Michael Douglas Garman  (born September 16, 1949 in Caldwell, Idaho) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher whom the Boston Red Sox selected with the third overall pick in the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft. His brother, Stephen, spent two seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization. Garman signed with the Red Sox upon graduation from Caldwell High School, and was assigned to the Greenville Red Sox of the Western Carolinas League. He lost the only game he appeared in for Greenville, giving up three hits and two walks in the only inning he pitched. He was then reassigned to the Winston-Salem Red Sox, where he went 1-3 with a 6.75 earned run average. After three seasons in Boston’s farm system, Garman debuted with the BoSox as a September call-up in 1969, and won his major league debut against the New York Yankees just six days after his twentieth birthday. After spending all of 1970 in the minors, he joined the Sox as a September call-up in 1971 and 1972 as well, and made the big league roster out of the bullpen in 1973. He had no decisions in twelve appearances as manager Eddie Kasko used him mostly in mop up rolls.

Cecil Celester Cooper (born December 20, 1949 in Brenham, Texas), nicknamed “Coop,” is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball and the former manager of the Houston Astros. From 1971 through 1987, Cooper played for the Boston Red Sox (1971–76) and Milwaukee Brewers (1977–87). He batted and threw left-handed, and attended Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. A five-time All-Star, Cooper hit .300 or more from 1977 to 1983. His most productive season came in 1980, when he hit a career-high .352 (finishing second in the American League behind batting champion George Brett’s .390 average for the Kansas City Royals), and he also led the league in RBI (122) and total bases (335).

Carlton Ernest Fisk(born December 26, 1947), nicknamed “Pudge” or “The Commander”, is a former Major League Baseball catcher. During a 24-year baseball career, he played for both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971–1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981–1993). Fisk still holds the American League record for most years served behind the plate (24). Fisk was voted to the All-Star team 11 times and won 3 Silver Slugger Awards which is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position. Fisk was known as a fierce competitor, a superb handler of pitchers and a natural on-field leader. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000. The defining moment of Fisk’s illustrious career came in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series at Fenway Park. He hit Cincinnati Reds pitcher Pat Darcy’s second pitch down the left field line that appeared to be heading into foul territory. The enduring image of Fisk jumping and waving the ball fair as he made his way to first base is considered by many to be one of baseball’s greatest moments. The ball struck the foul pole, giving the Red Sox a 7–6 win and forcing a seventh and deciding game of the fall classic. The image of him waving the ball fair changed the way baseball was televised. During this time, cameramen covering baseball were instructed to follow the flight of the ball. In a 1999 interview, NBC cameraman Lou Gerard admitted that the classic shot was not due to his own skills as a cameraman, but because he had been distracted by a nearby rat. Unable to follow the ball, he kept the camera on Fisk instead. This play was perhaps the most important catalyst in getting camera operators to focus most of their attention on the players themselves, and resulted in many future memorable World Series moments involving, among others, Kirk Gibson (1988), Joe Carter (1993) and Edgar Rentería (1997).

Willie Mays – 1972 Topps #49

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Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931) is an American professional baseball player who played the majority of his major league career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. Nicknamed The Say Hey Kid, Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. Many consider him to be the greatest all-around player of all time. In 1999, Mays placed second on The Sporting News’ List of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, making him the highest-ranking living player. Later that year, he was also elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Mays is one of five NL players to have eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones and Albert Pujols. Mays hit 50 or more home runs in both 1955 and 1965. This time span represents the longest stretch between 50 plus home run seasons for any player in Major League Baseball history. Ted Williams once said “They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays.

Willie Mays In Action – 1972 Topps #50

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Tony Perez – 1972 Topps #80

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Atanasio Perez Rigal (born May 14, 1942 in Ciego de Ávila, Cuba), more commonly known as Tony Pérez, is a former Major League Baseball player. He was also known by the nickname “Big Dog,” “Big Doggie,” and “Doggie.” Until he was traded in December, 1976, Pérez was a key member of Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine”. Apart from his years with the Reds (1964–76, 1984–86), he also played for the Montreal Expos (1977–79), Boston Red Sox (1980–82) and Philadelphia Phillies (1983). He finished his career with a .279 batting average, 379 home runs, 1652 runs batted in and 1272 runs scored. After retiring, Pérez went on to manage the Reds and Florida Marlins. He currently holds the title of Special Assistant to the General Manager with the Marlins. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. In 1970, Pérez hit the first home run in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium.

1971 National League R.B.I Leaders – 1972 Topps #87

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Joseph Paul Torre (born July 18, 1940) is a former American professional baseball player and manager who currently serves as Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. A nine-time All-Star, he played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, first baseman and a third baseman for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and the St. Louis Cardinals. After his retirement as a player, he later managed all three teams. Torre managed the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2007. The Yankees reached the post season each year and won ten American League East Division titles, six American League pennants, four World Series titles, and compiled a .605 winning percentage overall. With 2,326 wins, he is currently ranked 5th on the list of Major League Baseball all-time managerial wins.

Wilver Dornell “Willie” Stargell (March 6, 1940 – April 9, 2001), nicknamed “Pops” in the later years of his career, was a Major League Baseball left fielder and first baseman. He played his entire 21-year baseball career (1962-1982) with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over his 21-year career with the Pirates, he batted .282, with 2,232 hits, 423 doubles, 475 home runs and 1540 runs batted in, helping his team capture six National League East division titles, two National League pennants and two World Series (1971, 1979). In 1973 Stargell achieved the rare feat of simultaneously leading the league in both doubles and homers. Stargell had more than 40 of each; he was the first player to chalk up this 40-40 accomplishment since Hank Greenberg in 1940; other players have done so since (notably Albert Belle, the only 50-50 player).

Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron (born February 5, 1934), nicknamed “Hammer,” “Hammerin’ Hank,” and “Bad Henry,” is a retired American baseball player whose Major League Baseball (MLB) career spanned the years 1954 through 1976. Aaron is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Hank Aaron fifth on their list of “Greatest Baseball Players”. After playing with the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League and in the minor leagues, Aaron started his major league career in 1954. In his final season, he was the only remaining and last Negro league baseball player on an active major league roster. He played 21 seasons with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves in the National League, and his last two years (1975–76) with the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League. His most notable achievement was breaking the career home run record set by Babe Ruth. During his professional career, Aaron performed at a consistently high level for an extended period of time. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is the only player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times.

Harmon Killebrew – 1972 Topps #51

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Harmon Clayton Killebrew (June 29, 1936 – May 17, 2011), nicknamed “Killer” and “Hammerin’ Harmon”, was an American professional baseball first baseman, third baseman, and left fielder. During his 22-year career, he played for the Washington Senators, a team which later became the Minnesota Twins, and the Kansas City Royals. When he retired, he was second only to Babe Ruth in American League (AL) home runs and was the AL career leader in home runs by a right-handed batter (since broken by Alex Rodriguez). He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. Killebrew was a stocky 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 210-pound (95.3 kg) hitter with a compact swing that generated tremendous power. He became one of the AL’s most feared power hitters of the 1960s, hitting 40 home runs in a season eight times. In 1965, he played in the World Series with the Minnesota Twins, who lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. His finest season was 1969, when he hit 49 home runs, recorded 140 runs batted in (RBI), and won the AL Most Valuable Player Award. Killebrew led the league six times in home runs and three times in RBIs, and was named to eleven All-Star teams.

Frank Robinson – 1972 Topps #100

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Frank Robinson (born August 31, 1935), is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He played from 1956–1976, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles. He is the only player to win league MVP honors in both the National and American Leagues. He won the Triple crown, was a member of two teams that won the World Series (the 1966 and 1970 Baltimore Orioles), and amassed the fourth-most career home runs at the time of his retirement (he is currently tied for eighth). Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. Robinson was the first African-American hired to serve as manager in Major League history. He managed the Cleveland Indians during the last two years of his playing career, compiling a 186–189 record. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.

Carl Yastrzemski – 1972 Topps #37

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Carl Michael Yastrzemski (born August 22, 1939) is a former American Major League Baseball left fielder and first baseman. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. Yastrzemski played his entire 23-year baseball career with the Boston Red Sox (1961–1983). He was primarily a left fielder, with part of his later career played at first base and as a designated hitter. Yastrzemski is an 18-time All-Star, the possessor of seven Gold Gloves, a member of the 3000 hit club, and the first American League player in that club to also accumulate over 400 home runs. He is second on the all-time list for games played, and third for total at-bats. He is the Red Sox’ all-time leader in career RBIs, runs, hits, singles, doubles, total bases, and games played, and is second on the team’s list for home runs behind another Red Sox great, Ted Williams, his predecessor in left field. In 1967, Yastrzemski achieved a peak in his career, leading the Red Sox to the American League pennant for the first time in over two decades, in that season being voted the American League MVP, and being the last winner of the triple crown for batters in the major leagues.

1972 Rookie Stars – Astros – 1972 Topps #101

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William Briley Greif (born April 25, 1950 in Fort Stockton, Texas), is a retired professional baseball player who was a Pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1971-1976. He would play for the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Diego Padres. Greif graduated from John H. Reagan High School (Austin, Texas). He was traded from the Cardinals to the Montreal Expos after the 1976 season with Ángel Torres and Sam Mejías for Tony Scott, Steve Dunning and Pat Scanlon. The Expos did not re-sign him for the 1977 season.

James Rodney Richard (born March 7, 1950) is a former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career, from 1971 to 1980, with the Houston Astros. On July 30, 1980, Richard suffered a stroke and collapsed while playing a game of catch before an Astros game, and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening blood clot in his neck. His condition brought a sudden end to his major league career at the age of 30. His 313 strikeouts in 1979 remains an Astros franchise record, and he held the team’s record for career strikeouts (1,493) until 1987.

Ray Busse 1973 St. Louis Cardinals season

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